My Return to Polevault: Part 1

November 10, 2018
I grew up in athletics. After trying all the typical activities like ballet, gymnastics, brownies etc. I tagged along with my older sister to a local athletics club. After a failed training session at the larger Hull club (never take me there again!) we tried Hull Spartans which was a small athletics club closer to home with a Cinder track  I loved it. My coach Mr T was an athletics enthusiast who’d married the sport. Fast forward 10 years and he would be coming to our house for Christmas Day and then eventually we’d be by his side when he passed away. 

When polevault was introduced for women along with tripplejump in 1993 (correct me if I’m wrong, all I can find was that it was in the Sydney Olympics for the first time). I went for a trial at the larger local club and found myself selected to train with them. I progressed pretty quickly setting county and regional records and became the one to beat locally. 

I went to University in Middlesbrough to train to be a physiotherapist and found a decathlon coach who took me on. I trained with a local strength coach in the track gym with the city’s bouncers and a few other athletes. I certainly pushed myself but had an amazing time too. I didn’t progress too much... too much beer, parties and studying I think. Burning the candle at both ends I suspect. But I loved my time at university and wouldn’t change it for the world. 

When I moved to London I had a few sessions with different polevault coaches, surprisingly it was more difficult than where I’d come from. Coaches were either too expensive, too far away, too aggressive or the groups too big. So I settled into a lovely jumps group where I met some friends for life. I also worked with international athletes, travelling to the US on training camps and treating them at large international meets. I have worked with British Athletics since at one of their event physios. 

I have since married, had 3 kids, worked at 3 large private hospitals and Physiotherapy companies and finally opened up my own Physiotherapy clinic and Pilates practice with a successful YouTube channel. 

Well there’s been something missing for a while. Although the international athletics Physiotherapy work keeps me in the loop I’ve found recently it’s not enough. Every time I thought of getting involved in athletics again I found myself wondering what event I’d do. Well a few months ago I decided it should be polevault, It’s the only event I’m truly passionate about. 

So I called a Polevault coach I had met at international meets. He has a group of international vaulters so I was unsure whether to ask him. But I did! And he was happy to take me on. I have not looked back, I find myself constantly thinking about when I can train next. I must remember my main priority is my family though and no matter how supportive they are. Having said that i recognise fully that it has changed every element of my life, relationships mostly. It is so important to embrace your passion and make sure it is nurtured. It makes you a better person to be around. I’m vaulting better and more confidently than before and enjoying it more than ever. I will be joining a club soon and thinking about entering competitions.

Ok so at first it was so hard on my body. I’m fit and strong but had forgotten just how fit and strong you need to be for polevault. I now find myself on a weekly schedule of 2 x polevault sessions, 3 x weights, 1 x runs, drills and plyos. 
I also teach 3 HiiT sessions and 4 Pilates session per week (recovery). 

So what am I doing to look after my body? 
I take Epsom salt (magnesium) baths whenever possible, pilates, deep blue rub (doterra essential oils), resting and listening to my body when needed and I have just had my first CRYOtherapy and Normatec session at London CRYO. Oh and I always warm up and warm down. I look after my posture when working and resting. This is something more athletes should be aware of. 

I may need to seek treatment at times but right now I’m managing. I’m 40 next month and don’t feel it at all. I’ve had 3 kids and by no means have I been at the top of my game throughout. I recovered slowly and in my own time which I believe is key. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve! I certainly feel better about getting older. Watch this space and look out for the next instalment. 

 

Keeping fit whilst injured!

August 14, 2018

What does a Physio and Fintness Instructor do when she gets Injured? 


So when I fell down the stairs and twisted my foot underneath me I was devistated. I had 3 kids to get to school, a jam packed day of  Pilates classes, HiiT classes, Physio appointments, home chores, relatives staying and more!


The first things that went through my head were those people who walk around on a broken foot and then later find it’s complicated things them doing so. I quickly realised I had way too much on t...


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Post Natal Fitness

July 21, 2018

POSTNATAL FITNESS: 

 

When is it safe to start regaining your fitness after having a baby? 

 

It is safe to exercise from 6 weeks postnatal after your GP check. Although these initial stages are just extensions of everyday movements so shouldn’t cause any problems with your body, however if you do feel anything you are unsure about then you should go and get it checked by your GP or better still a physiotherapist.  

 

Why is it important to regain fitness after having a baby? 

 

Once you’ve had a...


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Fitness in Pregnancy

July 21, 2018

It is normal to feel tired throughout your pregnancy and sometimes exercise is the last thing on your mind but it is very important you keep your body moving and maintain a basic level of fitness throughout. Some days will be easier than others so roll with it and don’t be too hard on yourself. 

One good way of sneaking it in is to fit exercise into your everyday life. You could decide to walk home from work a few times per week. Take the stairs instead of the lift, within reason of course!,...


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Post Natal Goals

April 29, 2017

Intro:

As physiotherapist, ex-athlete, fitness professional and mum of 3 I’m very practiced at goal setting when it comes to my multiple journeys back to fitness and that of my clients. You’re probably familiar with the concept of SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. This structure can be applied to the return to fitness and the post natal journey.

Specific:

Your goal should be something you want to achieve… something you feel strongly...


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Pilates for Athletes

June 2, 2016
Firstly I bet each and every coach has been told their athletes need to do Pilates and every athlete has been told at some point in their career that Pilates would help either after injury or to enhance performance.

I also believe that most of you have resisted doing it! and I don't blame you!! I have been a serious athlete and have been a physiotherapist for as long as I remember and I have certainly questioned its place and effectiveness within elite sport. 

So... why did I doubt it? 

Before d...
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Why Non-Impact HiiT-Pilates?

May 21, 2016
Non-Impact HiiT-Pilates

What is it? 
HiiT- Pilates is a typical 'HiiT' workout of 3x 30s bursts of 5 different High Intensity Exercises. The Pilates comes in during the 'rest' periods in-between the 30s bursts. The purpose of the Pilates is to connect with the core muscles during the rest in order to use the body more efficiently during the High Intensity Bursts. The Pilates Exercise is always relevant to the movement pattern needed for the HiiT Exercise. 

What is Non-Impact HiiT Pilates? 
Norma...
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Fitness Whilst Travelling

May 14, 2016
Many people I treat travel with work and it seems to be a real issue with maintaining fitness. Routine is a very important factor that encourages people to maintain regular exercise and regular exercise is the key to getting fit, staying fit and loosing weight.

So if you travel a lot then it may be a good idea to introduce some hiit workouts without the use of equipment that can be done anywhere.

HiiT - Pilates is a workout that has 2 elements... The HiiT element is a high intensity exercise wh...
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Pilates for Neck Strength

May 7, 2016
In my pilates classes I like to work on abdominals intensively and safely to fatigue.
When doing crunches the overall aim is to shorten the distance from the front lower ribcage to the front upper pelvis. These muscles become long and lower in tone with pregnancy, weight gain and poor posture. Variations of a crunch with the deeper activation of the transversus abdominus (corset muscle) will help to shorten and tighten this area.

However! I'm constantly told that people struggle to get a 'burn'...
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What is HiiT - Pilates and Why do it...

April 25, 2016

What Is HiiT Pilates?
HiiT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. When I first heard of HiiT Pilates it made me think of some form of manic high speed pilates class with flailing arms and legs. As tempting as that sounds - that is not the case at all. 


HiT-Pilates combines the High Intensity Exercises for 30 seconds with a Lower Intensity Pilates Exercise in the 'rest' period . The Pilates Exercise helps to align the body and engage the core for the next High Intensity Ex...


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